7 Health Benefits Of Drumming
Playing the drums is good for you. It’s scientifically proven to be good for your mind and body as well as your social skills. If you are a drummer, you will be amazed at the many health benefits of drumming. If you are not yet a drummer, now is the perfect time to start learning how to play. Here’s a list of 7 ways that playing the drums is good for you and will benefit your life in positive ways.
A Super Fun Hobby
This one is by far the most obvious of all the health benefits of drumming. Let’s think about this on a little deeper level though. We are all raised to be busy bodies in some way. When we have free time but nothing to do, we tend to become dissatisfied and sometimes a little anxious. That’s what boredom is and when it strikes, we just want something to shake that feeling off.
Most of us might sit and watch a tv show or scroll away at your social media newsfeed. That will eat up some time, but it won’t make the feeling of boredom go away. Binge watching is especially tempting but watching several episodes of a show often results in more screen time overall. Factor in the time we spend online or on video games and that screen time drastically increases.
Playing the drums is just plain fun. There’s nothing like kicking into a beat and getting creative with rhythms. If you play music with other people then those feelings are not only stronger but shared with others. Playing the drums stimulates you on so many levels.
Practicing can replace that initial feeling of boredom with something better. You will instead feel satisfaction and energy that you just can’t get from your tv or other devices. Those are both physical and mental health benefits of drumming.
Drumming Increases Intellectual Development
Drumming is a great workout for your brain and can actually make you smarter. Research shows that the physical transmission of rhythmic energy to the brain actually synchronizes the left and right hemispheres. When the logical left hemisphere and the creative right hemisphere of your brain begin to pulsate together, your inner guidance system and intuition becomes stronger. Drumming also synchronizes the lower areas of the brain (non-verbal) with the frontal cortex (language and reasoning). This integration of several areas of the brain produces feelings of insight and certainty.
Researchers have found that playing drums can actually boost brain power in a measurable way. when it comes to IQ. “Playing the drums makes the brain think in a way that very few activities can,” said Pat Brown, International Drum Month chairman and Percussion Marketing Council co-executive director. “Being able to understand musical notes and dissect how rhythms work and go together is a very complicated thought process. The most recent study shows that being constantly exposed to this type of brain activity can actually improve one’s IQ level.”
The academic benefits of musical training are well documented, particularly when it comes to math. Learning to drum can also help you in other subjects like English, by helping you identify emotional cues. Parents are sometimes hesitant about their child learning to play the drums because they are afraid it will take away from their child’s studies. Rest assured, learning to play the drums will actually help your son or daughter perform better in school.
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Social Interaction and Community
Most people who learn to play a musical instrument will find that they have something in common with a lot of other people. It’s a great topic of conversation and playing music with others is a great way to meet people. Most people who start a band or jam some tunes with friends will usually know one or two people involved but almost always end up meeting someone who is a friend of a friend. Playing the drums is good for you on a social level because it gives you great way to meet other people at any age.
I can tell you from personal experience that at least half of the long-lasting friendships I have were the result of a shared musical experience. Heck, even the guy that helps me design this site is someone I first met when I joined a hip-hop band back in the day. That band no longer exists but we’re now friends and have a working relationship as well. It is because I was invited to be the drummer in that band that I met him in the first place. For tips on how you can meet other musicians in your area click here.
Improves Focus and Concentration
In today’s world of devices we are bombarded with news, entertainment, advertisements and social messages every day. It is proven that this has led to a decrease in attention span and problem solving abilities, particularly for young adults and teens who have been connected their entire lives.
Playing the drums requires you to focus on one thing for an extended period of time. This kind of mental focus is necessary and gets strengthened the more you practice. It is also very a very physical activity since you have to coordinate multiple limbs in rhythm. This takes an enormous amount of concentration. That’s why it is no surprise that drumming is often recommended as a therapeutic remedy for people suffering from ADHD and other learning disabilities.
For the rest of us, this heightened ability to focus and concentrate will improve your productivity at work, school and in social situations. Of the many health benefits of drumming, this one can help you improve in other areas of your life.
Relieves Stress, Anxiety and Depression
Improved mental health is one of the health benefits of drumming. It is proven that drumming releases endorphins in the brain which create feelings of happiness and euphoria. It puts you in a relaxed state which reduces anxiety and tension. This allows you to escape lingering negative feelings which in turn helps to cope with anxiety and depression.
Studies have also shown that drumming lowers blood pressure and reverses stress hormones. The act of drumming itself is a form of self-expression. You can literally drum your bad feelings away. I can’t express how often I’m upset or stressed out about something and I forget all about those feelings after a practice session.
Group drumming is a method of therapy that is commonly offered to people suffering from an addiction. Especially when related to substance abuse. What if you don’t have access to a place that has hand drums and others to connect with? Finding yourself a used drum kit to bang on will be the next best choice.
In this article by Dr. Michael Winkelman, he states that group drumming has “applications as complementary addiction therapy, particularly for repeated relapse and when other counselling methods have failed. Drumming produces physiological, psychological, and social stimulation that enhances recovery processes. Drumming induces relaxation and produces natural pleasurable experiences, enhanced awareness of preconscious dynamics, a release of emotional trauma, and reintegration of self. – Michael Winkelman, PhD, MPH. Playing a drum kit on your own is virtually the same activity, on your own. This will give you many of the same results.
Drumming Boosts Your Immune System
Another one of the health benefits of drumming is that it actually boosts your immune system! In his article published for the US National Library of Medicine, Barry Bittman, MD, neurologist and President of the Yamaha Music & Wellness Institute, has shown that group drumming has the “potential to produce cumulative or sustaining neuroendocrine or immunological effects that could contribute to the well-being of an individual facing a long-term condition in which elevated NK cell activity is known to be beneficial.” He states that “Drumming is a complex composite intervention with the potential to modulate specific neuroendocrine and neuroimmune parameters in a direction opposite to that expected with the classic stress response.”
Access to a group drumming program isn’t always that easy. If you had a drum kit to play in your home it would either compliment your group drumming therapy or serve as a healthy substitute. Playing the drums can help you exercise many of the same applications and processes and likely experience similar positive results.
Promotes Overall Fitness
Last but certainly not the least drumming benefit is a physical activity. It is more physical than any other musical instrument. A good practice session makes you sweat and elevates your heart rate, It also burns a lot of calories. I usually feel like a snack half way through or at the end of my practicing. It’s no mystery as to why that is. The other benefit is that the more fit you are, the more endurance and energy you will have as a drummer. This in turn will motivate you to lead a more active and healthy lifestyle.
So there you have it. 7 seriously cool health benefits of drumming. There is a mountain of evidence that proves drumming has a profoundly positive impact on your life. If learning to play the drums interests you, now is the perfect time to start. Even if you don’t have a drum kit, all you need are sticks. Want More Free Drumming Resources?
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